The government of Sri Lanka has initiated action against several Chinese firms in the country that have put up banners in the Mandarin language instead of the local Sri Lankan language. Sri Lankans see this as an onslaught on their culture and languages.
The government of Sri Lanka has removed the banner of a Chinese firm engaged in solid waste management in Colombo after it was found that the firm violated local language rules. The government has said that similar action is being taken against all other Chinese firms that are found violating the sentiments of locals by enforcing the Mandarin language instead of Sinhala and Tamil.
“Chinese in Sri Lanka should respect local laws. We are receiving complaints on signboards at Chinese projects using Mandarin and English scripts only ignoring both or one of the official languages, i.e. Sinhala and Tamil”, Mano Ganesan, minister for national integration told the media while explaining the cause behind the action.
“We can’t tolerate violations of local language laws at Chinese sites in Sri Lanka. We wish to provide assistance if any required and plan to engage with all including the Chinese embassy”, Minister Mano Ganesan added.
Earlier, in September this year, the people of Sri Lanka boycotted a dairy firm selling butter that had details on the cover written in Mandarin instead of Sinhalese or Tamil. They alleged that packets of Anchor butter, imported from New Zealand’s Fonterra Brand, had overlooked the fact that 75% of Sri Lanka’s population use the Sinhala language and not Mandarin.